A collective sigh of relief could be heard when rain fell on the final day of February. Rainfall so far this year — 5. 64 inches through last...

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A collective sigh of relief could be heard when rain fell on the final day of February.

Rainfall so far this year — 5.64 inches through last month — is well below the norm of 9.31 inches. And it may take spring showers to change what has become the third-driest year on record.

“During February, we had no rain for three weeks straight,” said Mike McFarland, meteorologist of the National Weather Service office at Sand Point in Seattle.

“It should be raining most days in the winter. Most people in Seattle know that.”

The precipitation has been unusual in another way, he said. Almost all of the rain fell on just four days: Feb. 4, 6, 12 and 28.

A little more than an inch of rain fell in February, and most of it — 0.75 inch — came on a single soggy day, Feb. 6.

That has made the first two months of the year — recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport — the third-driest in a little more than 50 years, McFarland said.

As for the mountain snowpack, the Cascades and Olympics are still extremely dry compared to average years, McFarland said. Typically, this is the time of year when the snowfall reaches its peak.

“Only a couple of years, 1976-77 and 1981, was snowpack this low,” McFarland said.

February temperatures, however, were a little out of the ordinary, too.

The average high was 51 degrees last month, compared with a normal high of 49.5 degrees. The average low for the month was 34.1 degrees, compared with the average of 37.2 degrees, which is almost 3 degrees below normal.

The warmest days were on Feb. 24 and 27. Both hit 61 degrees, but no records were broken, McFarland said.

The forecast for the rest of the week calls for a chance of showers and mostly cloudy skies — a damp prelude, perhaps, to spring’s arrival on March 20.

Suesan Whitney Henderson: 206-464-2296 or swhenderson@seattletimes.com